Thursday, January 31, 2008

Interesting Blog Site for Training

One of my readers, Phil Sabin and his "Fitness Over Forty" site, enticed me to check out which is dedicated to be a training blog. I suggest you go over and check it out. Pretty cool stuff for those of us who like to keep a fitness log. I know I said that I wasn't going to keep an official mileage log this year, but maybe I won't be anal retentive about it. Yeah, right...

Now, for training purposes only, I have a blog at I'll give it a go.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Even More Minutes of Fame

Snakebite is solidifying his legend in Sioux Falls. He is working on borrowed time with his 15 minutes of fame, but it is all for the good of bicycling. Keep riding dude!

Weather is sometimes a big factor when deciding entertainment.
There's picnicking in the spring, swimming in the summer, and hiking in the fall.
But winter weather offers fewer options, unless you're Chris Pierson.

By Erica Johnson

Winter is not usually the most enjoyable season to be outside for some people, but for one Sioux Falls man, it provides a challenge.
Chris Pierson says, "I like to be pushed.”
So Pierson dedicates 2 hours a day to his passion, but not from the comfort of a heated gym.
Pierson says, "I bike 6 miles to work and 6 miles home and it's the best part of my day.”
That's 240 miles a month, and even on days like today, he bikes.
Pierson says, "You ride a little slower, start a little sooner.”
And he bikes because that's the only way he has to get around.
Pierson says, "I wonder people's perception of me. Oh there's a DWI guy, he doesn't have his license, hahahaha.”
Pierson wanted to try something new, so in September he sold his car.
Chad Pickard says, "Chris is one of those guys who likes to do a lot of stuff himself.”
Chad Pickard is a friend of Pierson and says not only does Chris own six bikes, he builds them himself from the wheels up.
Pickard says, "It's always good to see Chris because he's a real nice guy, real happy guy, really excited about biking so he gets people involved.”
And Pierson says the Sioux Falls drivers don't seem to mind his presence on the road, even in a snow storm.
Pierson says, "I can maybe count on one hand the number of times people have honked or yelled at me.”
One challenge a bike carries is grocery shopping, but Pierson's got it covered. He just packs up his goods in a big bag and peddles home.”
Pierson says the future may hold a new bike made just for hauling groceries so he doesn't have to make so many trips, but for now he doesn't mind.
And he'll likely stick to his bike for a while.
Pierson says, "Oh yeah, forever, yeah, keeps me healthy. There's really no reason not to.”
What started out as a challenge for one man has now evolved into a lifestyle.
Pierson says it's not the snow that's the toughest weather to ride in, but the fog.
He's had to catch a ride twice because he was worried cars wouldn't see him.

New Vermillion Blogger!

It took a little gentle prodding, but CDV now has joined the ranks of the few, the proud, the bloggers. If you use an RSS feed, add More to come!

Ride ON!

Electile Dysfunction

Electile Dysfunction : The inability to become aroused over any of the choices for president put forth by either party in the 2008 election year.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Please Help Me I'm Falling

The aforementioned weather hit hard. After two big days of melting, now this. Imagine where the water had pooled from melting and what it's like this morning....yup...icy.

I was cutting across the park (which needs better care in the wintertime, but that may be saved for a later rant). I was being super careful as even where the new snow was blowing was still quite icy. When I hit the driveway going into the park and went to turn, the bike said "see ya" and went flying out from under me. Luckily I felt it going and had time to do a less-than-graceful abandon ship sequence, but I still fell because of the ice itself. It was like sledding, minus the sled.

Only a dozen or so people seen it happen. I'm sure every one of them said "Look at the fool on his bike in this weather". One small set back in my Get Out the Bike campaign.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Handlebar Mitts, Studs, and Weather

They're here! They're here! I don't know why I'm excited other than any accessory for cycling is fun to get. I'd been looking for some sort of handlebar mitts and thanks to a post/cheap shopping tip on MnBicycleCommuter I now have an extremely ugly pair of mitts (camo) from a VERY unorganized Cabela's (ordered online, had shipped to the store for pickup, store had them in inventory and they shipped to the store anyway...hmmmm). Anyhow, they do feel warm and should allow me to wear a much lighter glove underneath. I picked them up cheap ($14.95) and really wanted them in black, but they were $5 more in black. Can't figure that one out. Apparently even the hunters wouldn't buy the camo mitts. Anyhow, here they are in all their glory:

ALSO: For my wife's Uncle that lives in Tuscon, AZ, but formerly of Spearfish, here is a picture for your buddies who don't understand the cold up here. As requested, here is a picture of not only the handlebar mitts, but the studded snow tires. You're welcome.

The weather has been just insane. Last Thursday, as reported, I rode to work in -21 degree temps. This Sunday I rode outside in 40 degree temps as was the case today. Tonight "the front" hit. The winds are out of the NW at 31 currently and the temps are starting to fall. Still 38 now, but tomorrows high is supposed to be 10. You do the math. Wind chill at 10 degrees with NW winds at 32. I don't WANT to do the math. It will be a good test for the handlebar mitts!

Dog Uses Up a Life

If dogs have nine lives like cats, one little ferocious white puffball used up one yesterday. While Craig and I was riding out on east Main St., a little white puffball came at us with a "ferocious" yip. Meanwhile a car was passing us. Snow on the side of the road, little white dog on the road, car passing get the picture. We actually saw the dog turn his head away at the last second in a "I'M ABOUT TO DIE!" moment, but the car just missed...and I mean by inches. As a matter of fact Craig and I were absolutely amazed that it didn't become a spot on the road. It may be awhile before this little ankle biter finds his way to the road to chase a cyclist again.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Weekend Recap

Saturday: Indoor Track Meet at the Dome. Decent meet, but it was nice out and I could have been riding!

Saturday Night: Hosted a couple of young men who were with the "Singing Boys of Sioux Falls". They sang at our church Sunday morning and did a great job!

Sunday (after Church): Craig D and I got out for a slush-filled 20 miles on the bike. It was a little over 40 degrees which made for gorgeous riding! Craig talked about starting to blog but couldn't think of a blog name. I've sent him a couple suggestions. If he doesn't pick one soon, I'll open it up to the blogging community to come up with one (unless you want to chime in now)!

In other weekend happenings, Laura and Marissa went to Wal*Mart (aka the evil empire) to get studs for Marissa. She will turn 10 next month and that was the age Mom set quite some time ago to allow Marissa to get her ears pierced. When they came home, she had them pierced and pretty studs in. She's pretty excited as this has been a wish of hers for quite some time.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Gutcheck '08 News and New Website

Josh Ellis is hard at work planning for the Hwy 212 Gut Check race August 15-17. A new website is up at:

You will notice some new categories. One I asked him about earlier as Craig D and I are considering this: A Tandem division! Now let me tell you, you have to be good friends to do this, as that is quite a few hours to be with somebody on a bike! Josh puts it perfectly on the website:

Tandem: You can complete any of the above divisions on a tandem. Misery loves company. Indeed.

Probably the craziest addition is the "To Hell and Back" which is actually completing the 412 miles and then turning around and going the other way. Being the nice guy he is, Josh will allow you another 48 hours to complete this task. That's right folks: 824 miles in 96 hours. As a team, MAYBE. As an individual I suggested to Josh that all riders who even sign up for this receive a mandatory psychological evaluation. Heck, I thought I needed one for doing the Gut Check itself!

Start training now! Join in on the fun!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

USD Basketball Anyone?

Due to it being a school night, the wife and kids are not tagging along to the game tonight so I have four extra tickets to the USD Women and Men versus Nebraska-Omaha. The have to sit by me. Sucks to be you.

Brass Monkey Commute

True, I said last night riding across town was brass monkey-ish, but this morning I'm glad my simple little one mile commute was only that. I am layered fine and was okay (even a little sweaty here and there), but I'm thankful there was little to no wind. Why do you ask? Here's why:

I wonder how MnBicycleCommuter and the boys up that way are doing today? They are currently sitting at -15 but a -34 wind chill in Duluth, MN. Good luck boys!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Ditches, Bitches, and Brass Monkeys

Ditches: I had to work in Sioux Falls today. On my way up the interstate wasn't great, but it wasn't bad if you took a little caution. Apparently, some in South Dakota disagree with me. There were three cars in the ditch between the Tea exit and I-229, a mere 2-3 mile stretch. One blonde seemed completely unconcerned as she chatted on her cell phone while buried in the ditch. I'm sure she was calling for help, but a part of me laughed thinking that she was talking on the phone to a friend, not even realizing she was in the ditch. I like that thought much better. Makes it seem more poetically acceptable.

Had lunch with Mr. Bite again and we talked about the usual stuff: biking, babes, and booze. Next week our collective good looks will be enhanced greatly as we meet with Janey from the MS Society for lunch.

Bitches: On the way home from fleet on my bike, I heard a creaking noise behind me so I moved farther over onto the untouched snow. The creaking wasn't the car itself but a smartass kid opening a creaky door to do the fake "I'm going to hit you with my back door" trick. Lucky for him I didn't recognize him and the license plate was snowed over. I've been known to call the cops and make complaints on such fine, outstanding citizens. Here's hoping that he truly IS a good kid just showing off. Here's hoping he doesn't do it again. It could get bloody.

Brass Monkey: I had a friend who needed a little computer assistance tonight. I got my riding gear on and went over to his place. It's probably 1.5-2 miles to his place. Even though I was bundled up and fine, I noticed that my hands got a touch cold making me wish that I had put my liners in my gloves. When I got home and checked my computer I noticed the air temp is a balmy -8 degrees. Gee...wonder why my hands got a little cold in my lighter linings. On the bright side, I didn't even really notice the temp other than my hands. I am apparently getting seasoned well to the weather.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Birthday Wishes

My wonderful, beautiful wife of 14.372603 years (5246 days) is having a birthday today. She is by far the greatest wife out there as she not only LETS me go for rides pretty much whenever I want, she often TELLS me to go for a ride. This year we will hopefully be spending more time on the Tandem riding together.

Feel free to leave comments and well wishes as she does check the blog often and loves to read the comments. I'm sure some will be "colorful".

Monday, January 21, 2008

Rollers, Snow, and Housework --OH MY

Nothing in the cycling world could have possibly made me feel more like I was just learning how to ride my bike again than rollers! It took me about 15 minutes to finally take a few pedal strokes without one hand on the counter in the basement. I DID conquer the rollers and will probably use them here and there, but I'm not a HUGE fan. Let's just say that bundling up and braving the cold for an hour or so sounds MUCH more appealing.

Snow...well...yes...we got snow today. I'm not totally sure how much we got, but I've heard anywhere from 7-10 inches. Ask me how my back feels from shoveling all this stuff! Even WITH the help of my 11 year old this morning. He magically disappeared after the snowplow went by and I had to dig out the driveway.

I am ready to go back to work. I've done enough housework to last me about two weeks this extended weekend. It all needed to be done and I can't complain. While I was busy with the laundry, Laura and her mother turned Marissa's room from Pink to this:

The "grass" was my idea and it went over well. It doesn't show up well on this picture, but there is "grass". Eventually it will have some lady bug, dragonfly, and butterfly stickers in the "sky" and on the "grass".

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Three Day Weekends

The beauty of working for the State: Every holiday known to man is yours creating many three day weekends. Which this weekend was a great thing as half of it was over before I knew what happened. Working the track meet Friday night and Saturday until 5:00 and after ate up a good chunk early.

The rest of the night was spent putting the finishing touches on a sermon as I had to give the sermon in both Gayville and Vermillion today. Of course the rest of the day will be spent watching football (along with doing many loads of laundry -- my nervous energy). The Patriots didn't look great, but it does look like they are on their way to the Superbowl.

I'm not sure that I really care about the second game, other than it might be fun to have the Patriots/Packers in a rematch of Superbowl XXXI. Of course I'll be hoping for a better outcome this year! I'm trying to work out a deal with Craig D. that if the Patriots beat the Packers, he has to start blogging. We need a different view of cycling in Vermillion other than just mine! I was thinking about a more embarrassing bet, but this bet might have to do. I haven't heard from Craig what would happen if by some totally obscure chance that the Patriots would lose the Superbowl, but I'm not all that worried at this point.

In other noise, I'm going to break down and get back on the trainer indoors a little for a few weeks. The mileage I'm getting in town and spinning in the dome just isn't cutting it for training right now. Time to refocus and get serious about cycling again.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Gut Check 2007 Flashback - Crack In a Can

In my Gut Check 2007 recap, I had made mention about not being in very good shape on Sunday morning.

In a recent discussion with Craig D. about this during the Lane Hogs serving of The Welcome Table he told a story that is wrought with painful, albeit triumphant memories.

Craig's side of the story is that when he pulled into Redfield to help support me and Mr. Bite to the finish, we already looked like hell before we even got on the bike. On the bike we went nonetheless. Just two short hours removed from a 232.5 mile day, we were back in the saddle. Just the thought of that should tell you how we felt. A "simple" 115 miles or so to go to the Minnesota border.

Craig said that following us out of the shoot we both looked terrible: bad cadence, couldn't hold a line, defeated look. It didn't help that I had a HUGE headache and every crack in the road that I hit felt like I fell into a crevasse that would have killed a mere mortal. Mr. Bite and I decided to stop every 15 miles or so due to the rainy conditions and the fact we were both close to being physically baked.

The first stop I remember well as we were wet, cold, and it seemed like the end. My wife , bless her heart, went to the store and got my favorite recovery drink for me: a quart of chocolate milk, which I gladly downed with a sandwich. I was hoping that and the 600mg ibuprofen horse pill that I get from the VA would do the trick in eliminating my headache. 15 miles later, at stop number two, it wasn't to be. I still had the headache, and it still was a son-of-a.....

Alas! Craig, my wingman, my brother-in-arms, pulled out an Amp Tall Boy and said "Drink this" without giving me a choice. I drank as instructed. He did the same with food. "Take; eat" (sounding a bit like a Sunday Communion at church!). I ate as instructed. After a short rest, back on the bike we went. It wasn't but 2-3 miles down the road when I looked at Mr. Bite and said, "Dude, my headache is GONE!"

It was a new lease on the day! I give as much credit to the all powerful Amp, affectionately known now as "Crack in a Can", as I do to anything else in finishing this ride.

While the ONE Amp got me going in my quest to finish, each of the following THREE Amp Tall Boys played an important part in my completion of the final mileage. That's right folks: FOUR Amp Tall Boys in the last 100 miles or so. Guess what? Unless it becomes a "banned substance", it will be ON the packing list as required drinking this year on the Gut Check.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Cycling Humor

A pastor asked if any one in the congregation would like to express praise for answered prayers. A lady stood and walked to the podium. She said, "I have a praise. Two months ago, my husband, Jim, had a terrible bicycle wreck and his scrotum was smashed. The pain was excruciating and the doctors didn't know if they could help him." You could hear an audible gasp from the men in the congregation as they imagined the pain that poor Jim experienced.

She continued, "Jim was unable to hold me or the children and every move caused him terrible pain. We prayed as the doctors performed a delicate operation. They were able to piece together the crushed remnants of Jim's scrotum and wrap wire around it to hold it in place." Again, the men in the congregation squirmed uncomfortably as they imagined the horrible surgery performed on Jim and the wire wrapping he had. She continued, "Now, Jim is out of the hospital and the doctor's say, with time, his scrotum should recover completely."

All the men sighed with relief.

The pastor rose and tentatively asked if any one else had anything to say. A man rose and walked to the podium. He said, "Good morning, I'm Jim and I want to tell my wife, once again, the word is sternum."

Derek Miles and Friends Pole Vault Competition

For those in the Vermillion area, I highly suggest you check this competition out on Saturday. It's absolutely crazy to watch these guys pole vault. They are really making quite a production out of the competition as we have more vaulters than ever this year. I can't give away all the "insider" information about it, but I can tell you that it will be LOUD with music per the wishes of the vaulters. We will have multiple cameras for replays of the vaults and it will just be an awesome time. I strongly encourage anybody in the area to come and check it out.

The track meet runs all day, but the pole vault exhibition will take place at 3:00. Derek Miles and Sam Pribyl both are USD Grads competing in this competition. Below is the bios of the vaulters from USD Athletics website.

Competitor Bios

Derek Miles, who was a member of the 2004 Olympic Team, was inducted into the Henry Heider Memorial Coyote Sports Hall of Fame in fall 2006. Miles earned a bachelor’s degree in history in 1996 and a master’s degree in athletic administration in 1998 from USD. A Division II All-American while competing for USD (1991-96), Miles has the best jump in the world (19’0.25) this year. He finished seventh at the Athens Olympics in 2004, and was ranked fifth in the world at the end of the 2005 season. He was ranked #2 in the U.S. by Track and Field News in 2005. Miles owns a personal best of 19-2.50 that he set at the DakotaDome in 2005, which was the seventh-best vault in the world that year. In 2003, he was the USA Indoor champion and was fifth at the World Outdoor competition.

Jeff Hartwig of Jonesboro, Ark., is the Indoor and Outdoor American record holder. Hartwig, who finished third at the 2008 Reno Summit, was the 1999 World Indoor silver medalist, 1998 Goodwill Games champion, four-time USA Outdoor champion and two-time USA Indoor champion, including in 2007. Hartwig is the world record holder for the 40-year age group and has a personal-best of 19’9.25.

Tye Harvey of Jonesboro, Ark., was the 2001 World Indoor silver medalist and finished second in both 2000 and 2001 at the USA Indoor Championships.

Nick Hysong of Phoenix, Ariz., won the Olympic Gold Medal in the pole vault by going 19’04.25 at the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney, Australia. Hysong, who won NCAA Division I and Pac-10 titles in 1994 at Arizona State, also finished third at the 2001 World Championships.

Tim Mack of Cleveland, Ohio, was the 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist. He was also the 2002 U.S. Indoor Champion and the 2001 Goodwill Games winner. A 1995 NCAA Indoor champion at Tennessee, he has a personal-best and Olympic record vault of 19’6.25.

Jacob Pauli of Cedar Falls, Iowa, finished third at the 2007 AT&T USA Outdoor Championships. He is a three-time NCAA Outdoor All-American who won two Missouri Valley Conference Championships while competing for Northern Iowa. Pauli has a career-best of 19’0.25.

Sam Pribyl, who is originally from Webster, S.D., is a six-time Division II All-American who won six NCC titles at USD. He owns the USD and state of South Dakota pole vault record with his vault of 17’08.5 in 2006.

Jeremy Scott of Brookland, Ark., recently finished fifth at the Reno Pole Vault Summit. He has a personal-best of 18’10.25. He is originally from Norfolk, Neb.

Toby “Crash” Stevenson, who participated in the competition at USD two years ago, was the silver medalist at the 2004 Olympic Games. A former NCAA champion (1998) while competing for Stanford, he lives in Chula Vista, Calif. Stevenson, who finished second at the Reno Pole Vault Summit in January, owns a career-best vault of 19’08.25 (2004).

Brad Walker of Mountlake Terrance, Wash., is arguably America’s best vaulter with a personal-best of 19’08.25 in 2006. Born in Aberdeen, S.D., Walker was the 2007 World Outdoor champion, the 2006 World Indoor champion and the 2005 World Outdoor silver medalist. A two-time NCAA Indoor champion while at Washington, he was the first athlete in Pac-10 history to clear 19 feet.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

My Daily Commute

Many people have emailed me impressed at streak that I've kept up riding to work. The fact of the matter is that it's not that impressive. Sure, there have been a few days (rainy, below zero with incredible wind chills) that I could have wimped out and driven or caught a ride (which is how my last streak ended) but I have trudged on, often BECAUSE of the streak.

Maybe I'm feeling like Cal Ripken Jr. or Brett Favre and their incredible streaks of starting in their respective sports. Streaks that they didn't want to see come to an end (Favre's is currently still going!). While my streak hasn't even reached a year, many seem so impressed. Truth is, the mileage is only between .91 and .96 one way depending on if I can cut through the park or not. Take into effect that I have never had a parking permit at my job so even if I did drive, on average I'd have to park 2-3 blocks away. So I ask you that are impressed: Does it REALLY make SENSE to drive? It would actually make more sense to WALK than to DRIVE. That being said, I am a little OCD when it comes to goals/streaks. I will enter into any contest and or goal with FULL intentions of completing it.

I am more impressed with those who have miles of daily commuting, like fellow bloggers from Minnesota and Mr. Bite and others in Sioux Falls. While they may not do it EVERY day, they do it MOST days.

For those that find inspiration that I do this every day, that's what it's all about: Inspiration. Get out there and do it as often and as long as you can. If you keep finding excuses to ride the bike, pretty soon the bike becomes the first thought and the car becomes an afterthought.

Ride on!

Monday, January 14, 2008

2nd Annual Lane Hogs Serve The Welcome Table

Last year the Lane Hogs served The Welcome Table and served around a 100 meals going through four roasters full of chili. This year we added baked potatoes to the mix and served 168 people and ran out of food right at the end of the night. Next year we may have to ramp it up a bit and go for five roasters full of chili with more baked potatoes!

We had AWESOME help from the Lane Hogs Cycling Club along with some members of the core team from The Welcome Table. I *think* we had 15 Lane Hogs serving (maybe more) and so many of them made bars/cookies and others gave money (and some leftover chili from a certain New Year's Day Ride). We didn't collect quite as much money from the club as last year, so we didn't have any extra to donate to The Welcome Table, but we were not terrible short either.

It's a great community service for our club and I couldn't be prouder than when we serve this. Most people there were already talking about working it next year which was wonderful to hear. As one of our out of town Lane Hogs had on a note with their donation to the cause "GO LANE HOGS GO!".

List of Food for Preparation:
20 pounds of Hamburger
5 VERY large cans of Mrs. Grimes Chili Beans
4 VERY large cans of Chopped Tomatoes
1 VERY large can of mixed veggies (for the veggie Chili)
2+ containers of Chili Powder
1 Bag of Onions
5 Green Peppers
10 cans of Tomato Juice
8 Medium sized cans of Kidney Beans
22 Heads of Lettuce
11 bottles of Salad Dressing
9 Gallons of Milk
140 Potatoes
12 packages of stick margarine
4 big tubs of sour cream
6 pounds of shredded cheese
5 boxes of saltine crackers
COUNTLESS goodies made for desert by various members!

I'm sure I'm missing something from my list of ingredients, but it definitely wasn't rocket science chili, it was pretty basic, but it went over well!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Scooba-Do I Love You

The Roomba rocks, don't get me wrong. I love the fact you can schedule the Roomba to vacuum when you're not home and I'm impressed with the job it does.

After some initial issues priming the pump on the Scooba (the instructions could spell that out a little better), I cut Scooba-Do loose to do the voodoo that it do. I must admit, I am VERY impressed. We had a couple of kid spillages on the floor (imagine that) and the floor itself hadn't been mopped in a little while so it was a good first test. Below is a before and after shot along with the water collected by Scooba-Do.

Here is by far the "gross out" spot on the floor where something was knocked off the counter last night and supposedly wiped up by the knock-ee. This normally would have been cleaned up faster, but the need to give Scooba-Do a good test was a must!

Same spot/area after Scooba-Do did it's thing:

And....the aftermath from the Scooba:

Buyers Remorse: 0
Product Ratings:
--Scooba: 4.8 out of 5 stars
--Roomba: 4.1 out of 5 stars
iRobot's Customer Service (about the priming issue): 4.9 out of 5 (moderately long wait, otherwise this would have been a 5)
iRobot's instructions: 2.8 out of 5 (doesn't give great instructions on the priming. You really have to get a tight seal on it before the priming).

The ability to do something else while your kitchen floor is cleaned: Priceless

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Robots Are Taking Over!

In a moderately recent post, I told you about a robotic addition to our family: The iRobot Roomba. We like "Wild Mike" (our Roomba, named after Wild Mike on the movie Barnyard) so much that we now have a new arrival to the robot litter: "Scooba Do".

Our kitchen floor takes such a beating with three kids that I hope Scooba Do will take away some of the back-breaking mopping chores. The floor is pretty gross right now but I have to let it charge overnight before I use it. I'll try to take before/after pictures and post.

If it doesn't go well, I can always have robot wars and see which one wins.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Helmet Cams

Did I mention I want to have more FUN riding this year? One thing I've been contemplating is getting a helmet cam for group rides or off-road riding. Seemed simple enough: I did some research and found a Oregon Scientific AT-2000 for about $90. Then I seen some videos shot with it. Quality is "eh" at best.

Then to move up in quality you can go all the way to $900+. Is there a happy medium out there? Who has videos and links of your work to flaunt so I can make an educated decision about which one to purchase that won't put me in the poor house?

Monday, January 07, 2008

The Van That Locked Itself

Tonight as I'm patiently awaiting my wife to get home around 8:00, still hoping to get a ride in as the temperatures are unseasonably warm here (mid 30's), I get a bizarre call from my wife: "I'm at the gas station. As I was getting gas, the van locked itself and the keys are inside."

Now if my wife was a drinker this would be much easier to swallow, however she's not. The only response I could come up with was "Riiiiiiiiiiiiiight".

"No, serious! The van is running and the doors are locked."

"Oh Carson for me. I have to take your Mom the spare set of keys...don't ask questions." I hopped on my bike, the one that doesn't lock itself, and pedaled down to the station to give her the spare set. I didn't even give her a hard time...I'll leave that up to y'all. However, she could have bypassed the whole scene by....altogether now....RIDING HER BIKE! To her defense, she hasn't been feeling the best lately.

Oh yeah...I still got a bit of a ride in. I'm having trouble finding any snow-packed roads though. If it doesn't snow soon, I may have to take the studs off, or get non-SPD pedals for my other bike.

Coming soon -- Upon approval from the church, the Ford Deathstar Windstar will have an exorcism to drive out the locking demons. It could get ugly.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Carson Goes Bowling

Laura, Austin, and Marissa all went with Laura's Mom today to take our nephew home (meet 1/2 way anyhow) so Carson and I were bachelors today. We made the most of Daddy/Son time.

After getting a few things done around the house we went out to lunch. Given his choice of any food, any place, I was a little amazed that he chose Hy-Vee Chinese, even after I offered up McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Johns, and Pizza Hut.

After lunch at Hy-Vee I went over to check if the bowling alley would set up the bumpers and they were more than happy to. I figured that Carson's Uncle Scott (my brother) would be proud that I am exposing his nephew to bowling. This same brother sports more bowling balls than I do bikes---by a long shot. Carson was mildly entertained, but one game was about all that interested him. How did I do? Well, it's been roughly five years since I've bowled and I always joke that it doesn't matter the layoff, I always bowl about 130. With a spare and a strike in the 10th frame, I got a 140. Carson...well...with *generous* scoring, he had an 86. A good rookie debut.

The unique approach of a 4.5 year old.

Admiring his shot.

South Dakota Bicycle Coalition - The Beginning

This morning I had the privilege of participating in a call about gathering information and to gauge interest in starting a South Dakota Bicycle Coalition. The response from all on the call was an overwhelming positive experience. The call lasted about 1:15 and had individuals from Sioux Falls, Brookings, Vermillion (guess who that was), Mitchell, Rapid City (including Hot Springs), Spearfish, and a representative from the Thunderhead Alliance.

For an initial call I was very impressed, although not shocked, with the support from all over the state in starting a bicycle coalition. The current plan is to host a South Dakota Bicycle Summit to discuss the formation and plans for such an alliance to get off the ground and running.

The interesting incident to precipitate this initial call for an alliance was when the South Dakota legislators tried to remove cyclists from being considered as vehicles. The reasoning initially was, and eventually ended up being, to allow bicycles (and horses) to be exempt from being considered vehicles for Driving Under the Influence charges. Due to the bill being poorly written initially, cyclists came together from across the state to pressure legislators about the ludicrous nature of the bill.

One of the legislators actually said that in a year that South Dakota was looking at an abortion ban, education funding, and other big issues, the one that caused more emails and communications than any other was when this bill was brought forward. I think there within lies the problem: cyclists tend to be "reactive" versus "proactive". I hope that this is the beginning of a "proactive" group.

Friday, January 04, 2008

My Two Daughters

I pulled a prank on a lady who works with me last year. I showed her a picture of my niece and my daughter, who look amazingly alike, and told her that it was my two daughters with the oldest being from my first marriage. She didn't say anything until I left the room and then the rumor mill was flying. Problem was, I forgot to straighten out the rumor for awhile and I think it spread a little before I told her the truth.

I had somewhat forgotten about the prank until I received some pictures from my Sister-in-law with a picture of Marissa and Molly together. Think they could pass for sisters?

By the way, I only have ONE daughter and only been married once!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

The Hat

I've had a little pressure to post a picture of "The Hat" from the New Year's Day ride. My wife really didn't want to be seen in public with me while I was wearing it, but she'll get over it. To get noticed you have to be crazy once in awhile. It's not the greatest picture, but you get the idea (Spiderman, you owe me a couple beers for the public release of this picture).

Icy Windshields

Imagine this coming at you while on a bike:

Yesterday I had to work in Sioux Falls again so I biked out to fleet to get a car to drive up there. It was a balmy 0 (ZERO) degrees when I left my house so I was pretty bundled up. The number of car windshields that looked similar to the above photo were shocking.

I may not be the greatest morning person in the world, but I don't have to get up and make sure my car is scraped off and warmed up. My "car" has a great unobstructed view. So many cars had one little square (sort of) cleared off so they could (kind of) see. Others had their heads tilted so that they could see through a small open patch. I just wanted to scream "Get off yer lazy butts and scrape your window!!".

"But Bikingbrady, it's cold out!". I understand that as I'm on my BIKE. Lazy, overweight, in a rush, have to get the kids to school, I don't care WHAT your excuse is: MAKE TIME TO CLEAN YOUR WINDSHIELD!!!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Year's Day Freeze Your Giblets Ride

The Spoke-N-Sport New Year's Day Ride was very much as advertised in my last post: Cold, windy, and would only bring out the stupidest bravest riders. The ride was cut from 20 to about 8 miles due to the conditions (sorry to my friends in Alaska, we can't hang with y'all). Eight miles was still enough to make my toes and fingers a little on the numb side so I was glad to be done.

Afterwards we enjoyed some awesome chili, a keg of 1919 Root Beer, hot chocolate and coffee. It was nice to see the Sioux Falls gang. I hadn't seen many of them since the Margarita Ride so it's always good to spend time with them.

My last post laid the guilt trip on Craig D. and he showed up to ride. Chad P. (from Alcester, not The Owner) also showed up and rode his trike. Travis K. (now living in SF, but former Lane Hog legend) also rode but showed up late, something that NEVER happens with Travis < /sarcasm > so it was nice to see him as well.

Here are a few pictures from the proceedings:

The owner:

Craig D and I preparing to rob the store go for a ride. I'm sporting a new balaclava due to the fact I forgot my Headsokz. It's all part of the owner's evil plan I'm sure.

Craig D and I mounted up and ready to roll.